To Rent or Not to Rent (Music Studio Space, that is)

Is it time to take the plunge and rent music studio space for your private teaching studio? Or is it time to move your rented teaching studio back into your living room?

If you teach from home, you’ve probably thought about renting studio space.

If you teach in a rented space, you’ve probably thought about giving up that rent payment and teaching from home.

How do you decide on the right place for your studio?

Here’s my quick-and-dirty advice.

First decide on your goals for your business. Goals might be things like:

  • I want to earn enough money to live comfortably.
  • I want to be a visible and welcoming presence in the community.
  • I want to spend the majority of my working time teaching, and have the business end of things be as simple as possible.

Your goals are going to be as personal as your business—they are yours and yours alone.

Second, decide whether renting space would hurt or help you as you reach for your goals.

Let’s examine my example goals:

Goal 1: I want to earn enough money to live comfortably.

Unless you’re hiring or subletting to multiple other teachers, and your space can earn money when you are NOT teaching, renting space is going to suck a lot of money off your bottom line. Be sure to raise your rates to cover the rent!

Goal 2: I want to be a visible and welcoming presence in the community.

Some reasons to rent space have nothing to do with money, and that’s OK. Could you do this from your home? Maybe.  If you can ONLY be a visible and welcoming presence by teaching from a retail space, that’s what you’ll need to do.  Be sure you’ll be able to cover the rent and still earn a living wage.

Goal 3: I want to the majority of my working time teaching, and have the business end of things be as simple as possible.

If you hate administration, you want to do everything possible to teach from home.  Think of how much work it is to maintain your home – mortgage or rent, utilities, mail, telephone, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, snow shoveling, etc.  Depending on your lease, you might have to do some or all of those pieces.  Plus, each expense must be carefully tracked for tax purposes.  Oy, my head hurts already.

Some established teaching studios rent teaching space on a per-lesson or per-day basis.  If your home isn’t suitable for teaching, look for something like this.

So what is the right thing to do for you?

I’d love to know.

Stay tuned for the Happy Studio online course, which I’m currently developing – This will be an issue that I delve into more deeply in the class.

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